Tainted By Our Choices

Tarred by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tarred by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

Tainted By Our Choices

Tainted

Tarred by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tarred by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

As Nature Intended

Cover As Nature Intended

Since presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has been cautious and distrustful of the world around him. But he has overcome the obstacles of being an Omega, working hard to make a life that is successful and fulfilling. And that life is good; in fact, everything is looking good for Elliot. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel.

Enter his Alpha, Oskar, who is just as reluctant to have his life disrupted, and as horrified by his own instincts as Elliot is about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their connection, or accept how right they feel together?

Now available! Read here

Tainted By Our Choices

Tarred by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tarred by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

As Nature Intended

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

No Special Occasion

Mark and Rob have an evening together with nothing to enjoy other than each other…

This is NOT safe for work, just to warn you. For those of you who follow/have followed me elsewhere, you might recognise this story in another guise 😉

This was no special occasion. Not an anniversary, or an oops, I’ve pissed you off, let me make it up to you. Or even an I’ve had a bad day, I need to feel you close to me. Just an intimate kind of evening with nothing to concentrate on but themselves.

Mark returned from his shower to find Rob asleep on their bed, one hand curled underneath the corner of Mark’s pillow and the other creeping forward across the sheets. Mark smiled; sleeping Rob wasn’t peaceful, or younger looking, or any of the things people normally said about their favourite people when they were resting. He was just resting, and Mark loved nothing more than seeing Rob taking any kind of rest, because it was such a rare thing for him to do. No one worked harder than Rob did, Mark was sure of it, or even biased about it, but either way he didn’t care. Rob was resting, and that was good enough for him.

Rob stood for a moment longer, then silently padded up to his side of the bed barefoot, slowly lifting off the oversized long sleeved shirt he was wearing and reaching to loop it over the back of a chair.

Gently lowering himself onto the bed, he did his best not to jostle Rob too much, keeping himself a little towards the edge as he swung his feet up and stretched his legs out. He turned, very slightly, picking up his book from the bedside table and wincing as the rustle of pages seemed too loud to his ears, in the silence of their room. Satisfied that Rob hadn’t stirred, he turned his attention back to the words before him, quickly familiarising himself with where he was in the story plot and losing himself in it.

A soft sigh a little while later announced Rob’s waking up, his fingers pausing as they stroked across the sheet and came into contact with Mark’s thigh. He raised his head, eyes drowsy and unfocused before coming to rest on Mark’s face.

“Hey,” he mumbled, yawning and giving the smallest of stretches, before rolling forward and pressing his nose against Mark’s hip, a hand slung over and resting just above his opposite knee.

Mark smiled down at him, slotting his bookmark between the pages and pushing the book back onto the cabinet before lightly running both his hands through the back of Rob’s hair. Rob arched against his fingers, humming in approval. “How long’ve I been out?” he asked with another yawn before nuzzling against him.

“Maybe an hour,”

“Come here,” Rob beckoned, slotting a finger through Mark’s belt loop and tugging, insinuating Mark lay beside him. Mark slid until his own head was on his pillow resting just over Rob’s hand, and turned briefly to press a kiss to the back of it.

Rob gave out a small hum of approval as his fingers brushed over Mark’s naked skin, stroking down his back and rolling closer towards him. Drawing his hand back from Mark’s pillow, Rob wrenched up his own shirt a little so that he could press his now-naked stomach against Mark’s, and sighed, content, wrapping his arm back around him.

Mark smiled a kiss against Rob’s forehead and slipped his fingers up the back of Rob’s shirt, resting them there.

“Better,” Rob mumbled against Mark’s lips, closing his eyes again, and they lay there without knowing the time, trading soft, occasional kisses as they breathed each other in.

Rob pressed a short series of tiny kisses against Mark’s lips then, and at the same time spread his hand wide to touch as much of Mark’s bare skin at once as he could. He slid his hand down Mark’s side slowly, then moved back just enough so that his thumb could drop down between them to run over Mark’s stomach.

Mark smiled against his mouth, lightly massaging his own fingers into Rob’s back. He opened up the kiss a little, though keeping it lazy, with Rob sliding his hand slowly up the length of Mark’s back again to come to rest between his shoulder blades, holding him close.

And as their slow kisses continued unhurried, Rob continued stroking over as much of Mark’s skin as he could get to, first dipping down low to the small of Mark’s back, then up over his shoulders, trailing his fingers along the edge of his ribs and rolling back a little so that he had room to brush the lightest of touches up and over a nipple, earning him a breathier yet still gentle kiss.

Rob kissed the corner of Mark’s mouth, the edge of his jaw, a patch on his neck, his collarbone, working his head lower until he could flick his tongue over Mark’s nipples and gently catch them in his teeth in turn. Mark hummed, trailing his own fingers in absent patterns over his back.

When Rob raised his head again, he claimed another kiss, this one the tiniest bit harder than before, though still unhurried. Mark stroked his fingers up under Rob’s shirt again, hooking his thumb on the outside to show Rob what he wanted. Together they pulled Rob’s shirt up and over his head, and Mark’s eyes lit up to see him, rolling forward to press Rob down on his back.

Mark kissed his way up from the dip of Rob’s shoulder, all the way up his neck and under his jaw, before reaching Rob’s mouth. Rob sighed against him, his hands around Mark’s hips and moving him so that Mark was straddling his lap and resting on his forearms either side of his head, settling directly over him.

Mark flicked his tongue against Rob’s lips, forcing a pleased gasp out of him in response, shuffling closer still until they were pressed together at every point. Mark smiled at that, moving his hand a fraction so he could trace his thumb along the stubble of Rob’s jaw.

Mark stared at Rob with a wide, blissful smile, his fingers drumming lightly along Rob’s cheek. He nosed Rob’s jaw to one side to mouth along his neck, and just under his chin where he knew would make Rob smile. He nuzzled his way back up through Rob’s stubble before kissing him again, open, and long.

“Are you still tired?” Mark asked, kisses now to Rob’s cheeks, his nose, his closed eyes.

Rob’s hands slid up Mark’s sides, tracing the outline of his shoulder blades. “Nope. Not tired at all. Didn’t even mean to fall asleep,”

“So you’ve no objection to me keeping kissing you?” Mark prompted, though not actually making any effort to pause at all.

Rob rolled his hips up the smallest of rolls and angled his mouth towards him in invitation. “Please do…”

“Good,” Mark breathed, before licking his way into Rob’s mouth, smiling as he sighed out lengthy and content. And then Mark really did kiss Rob, his lips barely leaving his skin for a second. He started at his mouth, working his way down the dip under his lip, his chin, all along the length of his neck down to his collarbone before he had to shift lower, which he did in a deliberate, slow slide so that they brushed against one another. He bit down on Rob’s left pec, swirling his tongue over the mark he left there before sucking on a nipple, and repeating the entire thing with his right.

Mark kissed his sternum, each rib, down to the slightly softer flesh of his belly, all while slowly unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans so that he could nose his way into them. He pressed the tip of his nose into Rob’s belly button and raised his head, knowing he’d see Rob laughing at that, before lightly hooking his fingers along the line of Rob’s boxers and slowly pulling both them and his jeans down.

Rob helped, raising his hips to free him of his clothes, sighing and pliant as Mark slowly pulled them down. Mark’s kisses continued with the slow exposing of skin; front of hip, top of thigh, dip at top of kneecap, a light lick to the back of the knee that made Rob jump for the tickle of it, a tiny bite against his calf, and a final kiss into his inner ankle until he could pull the jean legs completely free. Then Mark worked in reverse back up Rob’s other leg, moving to lay between them, eventually stopping to press a series of kisses into Rob’s stomach. He raised himself to rest his chin there, smiling up at Rob for a moment and receiving a wink and fingers slotted back through his hair.

Mark started kissing his way back down again, nuzzling into the hair around Rob’s base, kissing his way up Rob’s length so slowly that Rob started out barely stirring, but on his way to almost completely hard by the time Mark’s lips pressed against his tip.

Mark raised his head again to smile up at Rob, catching the slightly open-mouthed smile there, then licked firmly once over Rob’s head, keeping eye contact. Rob sucked in a breath in anticipation, his fingers still running through Mark’s hair, then coming to rest on his shoulders and drumming there once to get his attention.

Mark stopped, looking up in question.

“Come up here,”

Rob patted his own thighs, silently asking Mark to sit on him. Mark did, looping one leg over and then the other, running his hands up Rob’s chest as he sat up. Rob reached his hands up to grip Mark’s face, leaning up to kiss him, smiling against his lips.

Rob reached out and slowly undid Mark’s jeans, sliding his hands in the back at first to cup his ass. He ran his hands there a while, moulding them in time with the flicking of his tongue into Mark’s mouth, then brushed his fingertips around to the front of Mark’s jeans, lightly enough to make Mark shudder.

Rob slid a hand inside Mark’s boxers where he was already half-hard, and Mark groaned, arching up his neck, which Rob took full advantage of by biting lightly down on his pulse point there, laving his tongue over the marks he left behind.

Rob circled a thumb over Mark’s head and grinned at the small stutter he answered with, then dipped his hand back in, stroking him, teasingly slow from base to tip, with another circle over his head on every up stroke.

“Let’s get these off,” Rob whispered against Mark’s lips, fingers inside the waistband of Mark’s boxers and pulling. He pulled them down as far as he could, before Mark shifted backwards and knelt his way off the bed, pulling down his boxers and jeans in one go, then crawling back and leaning over Rob for a kiss.

Rob patted to his side, and Mark laid down there beside him, running a hand over his hip. Rob cupped his face to kiss him and pressed himself forward, before dipping his hand back down and lightly gripping them both in his palm.

Mark moaned, thrusting up into his hand, feeling Rob smile against his lips. And Rob stroked them both, going back to his slow and lengthy attention that he’d given just to Mark moments before. Their kisses remained slow, stuttering, missing and half-missing when a gasp of pleasure caught.

Mark gave a small hum against Rob’s lips, pressing another kiss against him before dipping his head a little with a smile.

“What?” Rob asked in a whisper, his rhythm not changing and still pressing his lips lightly against Mark’s when he could.

“Nothing,” Mark shrugged a little, lifting his eyes to Rob’s before they dropped again, “I like watching when you do this.”

“Oh yeah?” Rob asked, smiling, deliberately running a slow thumb over each of their heads and slicking them both back down, continuing his long, slow strokes.

“Mm,” is all Mark managed, all his concentration elsewhere.

“Anything you like seeing in particular?” Rob asked, feeling himself harden a little more under Mark’s gaze. Mark lifted his head to look at him then with a knowing smile.

“All of it,” Mark replied quietly, “I like it when we’re leaking and you slick it down over us, and when you grip just here,” he moved his hand to show Rob, just at the dip beneath his head, humming as he pressed his own thumb there, “and stroke your thumb up over here,” he added, running his own fingers over Rob’s slit and making him shudder, “I enjoy seeing – and feeling – it all,”

Rob continued his long, slow stroking with both of them focusing their gaze on his hand, the occasional jolt of their hips surging them forward and interrupting their kisses with increasingly filthier moans.

“You wanna just keep doing this?” Rob whispered against his lips, which made Mark smile, then shake his head, looking down and thrusting into Rob’s hand a couple of times more and groaning, then pulling Rob’s hand away from them and resting it on his hip. They laid side by side, rolling forward so their cocks were still gliding over each other, letting out moans of encouragement, between stuttered kisses.

“No,” Mark finally replied, chasing Rob’s tongue around his mouth a little, “I need you,”

“Oh yeah?” Rob repeated, a little thickly as he thrust against him a little harder, “I’m all yours,” which pleased Mark no end, and Rob was rewarded with a deeper kiss as well as a quick, light stroke along his length before Mark pressed on Rob’s hip and rolled him on to his back, moving with him to kneel between his legs.

Mark positioned Rob just how he wanted him; feet flat on the bed and knees up either side of him, splayed open. Mark shifted down, kissing his knee, and all along his inner thigh, all while pushing Rob’s knees further apart. He bent further, taking just Rob’s head into his mouth and sucking hard and moaning as his mouth filled with precum, then lapped along his slit, humming then as Rob jolted beneath him. He opened his mouth around him and took him in, hollowing his cheeks a couple of times in a hard suck then pulled off him and bent for a final lick over his head, then knelt up, bracing himself on Rob’s parted knees.

Mark tapped Rob’s thigh and Rob watched as Mark slid off the bed, hands resting on Rob’s hips. Rob moved with him willingly, until he was closer to the edge of the bed, and Mark was on his knees on the floor.

Mark leaned over, running his hands up the back of Rob’s thighs so that he raised his legs for him. “Hold yourself open,” he said, and Rob slid his hands behind his knees, pulling them wide.

Mark pressed his hands either side of Rob’s hole, and pushed them slowly apart to expose him. He dipped his head, licking his way in, smiling at the way Rob’s thighs clenched and a gasp escaped his lips.

Mark swirled his tongue into him, circling for a beat, pressing in, circling again, pressing further, until he could dart it in and out freely, lapping at him. Rob writhed and rocked against him, giving all sorts of sounds of encouragement, so obviously enjoying everything that Mark was doing to him.

Mark pulled back a little, flicking his tongue out just to brush the tip against Rob, who gave a startled sigh at the loss and pushed himself forward. Mark pushed him back, repeating his teasing little flicks unevenly over and over so Rob never knew when they were coming, until Rob was whimpering and grinding himself forward. Mark rewarded him with one long, deep lick before placing a kiss over his hole and moving away entirely.

Mark didn’t move far though, pressing a kiss into the crease of Rob’s leg, and slowly stroking his thumb over Rob’s leaking head. He used the precum there to slick his fingers up, and pressed two in to Rob at once, steady and slow. Rob gasped, writhing as Mark pressed and scissored his fingers inside him until he hit Rob’s prostate, making him judder forward.

Mark pressed his face against Rob’s inner thigh just below his knee, watching his fingers sliding in and out of Rob as he added a third. He kept up a steady stream of kisses where his head rested, closing his eyes with a smile at the noises Rob continued making above him.

“Need you, Mark,” Rob choked out eventually, no longer unable to control the way he rocked down on Mark’s fingers.

“Mm,” Mark agreed, placing a final kiss to Rob’s thigh and moving to stand. He waited as Rob pressed his hands into the bed and levered himself back up it until his head was back on the pillow. His legs stayed wide, and Mark crawled between them, hands running up Rob’s chest and cradling his face for a moment in a kiss. He leaned over and snatched up a bottle of lube from the side of the bed, slicking up his fingers to slide into him, then coating his own cock, his head falling back with a groan.

Mark settled back between Rob’s legs, his hands pressing him open again and lining himself up. He felt Rob shift and looked up; Rob’s eyes were fixed on Mark’s cock as its tip pressed firm against his hole.

“I like watching you sliding in to me,” he said, raising his eyes to Mark’s for only a moment before dropping them again. Mark smiled, dropping his own gaze to watch as his cock head disappeared inside Rob, pausing to flick his eyes up to see Rob’s face before pressing all the way in, in one slow, drawn out thrust.

They both let out a soft grunt when Mark was all the way inside him. He paused again, just for a second, before sliding almost all the way back out, their eyes ever watchful as he continued rocking in and out of him, breathing soft, choking out gasps as he did.

Mark shifted, this time stroking his hands up the back of Rob’s thighs so that they were high and angled up against Rob’s chest. Mark leaned over him, rocking into him with only the minimum of movement as he kissed him.

They kept their pace slow, gently rocking together with Rob’s hands flat against the bed, and Mark’s lips never far from Rob’s. They only paused to give each other silly grins, eyes shining, smiling in delight when one of them gave out a particularly appreciative moan.

Mark shifted a little, pulling Rob’s hips up and angling himself in a way that hit Rob’s prostate repeatedly and made his head writhe back against his pillow. Mark kept hold of one of Rob’s legs, while his other dropped so that he could take Rob in his hand and stroke him in time with his thrusts.

Rob held himself open again, gripping the back of his knee and holding it wide like Mark did with his other. His eyes continued flitting between Mark’s hand around his cock, and where his hips rolled, with Mark disappearing into him.

“Rob,” Mark breathed out, and Rob knew from the tone that Mark was straining hard to keep his movements slow and steady. In answer, Rob shifted Mark’s hand and held himself wide open for him with both hands, Mark falling forward a little as he stumbled to support his weight on the bed.

Mark began pounding into him, still stroking Rob in time with his hips but now accompanied with a series of gasps, and slaps of skin on skin as he thrust harder, and as deep as he could go.

Rob rolled his hips up in time to meet him where he could, as Mark’s thrusts became more frantic into him, his hips stuttering as he chased the angle in Rob that made his eyes roll.

Harder, and harder, the air filled with nothing but their grunts and moans that sounded more and more desperate the close they got. With a last gasp out of Mark’s name, Rob came, shooting several thick, hot stripes to splatter over his own stomach. Mark smiled down at that for a second, but was unable to stop, thrusting relentlessly and uncontrollably before grinding against Rob with a long, guttural groan, coming hard.

Mark fell forward, landing square on Rob’s chest with a soft oof, and Rob’s chest rising and falling heavily under his weight. His hands dropped to Rob’s waist, and Rob’s hands lifted to stroke circles into Mark’s lower back.

As Mark softened, he slipped out of Rob, and Mark moved his hands up back to either side of Rob’s shoulders, pressing kisses into his neck, jaw, and back up to his face. They rested their foreheads together as their breathing evened, eyes on each other the entire time.

When they’d calmed enough to move, Mark slid from the bed, with Rob whimpering a complaint at the loss. Mark bent to pick up his boxers and smiled at Rob, wiping come from them both before discarding the boxers back on the floor and climbing up beside him again.

Rob turned instantly to him, one arm around his waist and pulling him close. His mouth claimed Mark’s again, and Mark went willingly, curling a hand possessively around Rob’s hip with a deep, sated sigh.

They fell asleep with their lips idly pressing against each others’, curved into satisfied smiles.

Tainted By Our Choices

Tainted

Tarred by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tarred by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?

As Nature Intended

 

When you first learn that you are an Omega, you learn all sorts of things you never imagined you would need to know when you were growing up. The essentials: Heat suppressants, scent masking, how to handle an Alpha that is scenting you, and of course, the laws that are in place to protect you, in a society that is accepting and progressive, yet still has elements of its attitudes stuck firmly in the past. You also learn that through no fault of your own, or conscious effort, it is possible for an Omega to adjust their body chemistry, to make themselves ready to do what some feel is their sole purpose in life: to breed.

Presenting as an Omega at the age of fourteen, Elliot has grown up cautious, distrustful of the world around him, yet determined to live a fulfilling life in spite of that. He is successful at work, has recently moved into a new apartment, and everything in his world appears to be falling into place. Which is, of course, exactly when his body decides to rebel, forcing ideas and urges into Elliot that he has spent his life trying to deny.

Enter reluctant Alpha, Oskar; as adamant as Elliot that he will not have his life disrupted by what he is, and just as horrified by his instincts as Elliot is finding himself about his own. Should they fight the inevitability that is their bond, that need they have for one another that will not get them a moment’s respite, or give in to just how easy, and effortless it feels between them?

Read here

As Nature Intended – Extract

Cover As Nature Intended

Elliot remembered with painful clarity the events that had led up to the exact moment he thought his life might be effectively over.

One early evening the week after his fourteenth birthday during a sweltering summer, Elliot was stood on his aunt Ellie’s porch in the still blazing sun, sipping on homemade lemonade, when he first felt an unfamiliar ache in his lower back. He and his cousin Sebastian had been busy playing with the family’s new puppy, chasing it back and forth across the lawn, and in and out of the small cluster of trees at the bottom of the garden for most of the day, so it had taken him a while to notice, acknowledging far too late that the pain had been with him since early that morning.

By the time the sun finally set, Elliot’s skin was glistening with sweat, and a fever raged just beneath the surface like an itch he couldn’t scratch. His pulse raced, his heart trembled with a sense of anticipation, and coursing through his entire body was the palpable need to be ready, all radiating out from a point deep inside himself that ached in a way he didn’t understand.

Aunt Ellie had sent him to bed with pain relief and a soothing kiss to his temple, a grim set to her jaw that told Elliot even then, that she knew something that he did not. And when the following morning came, when that ache and need had him writhing and moaning in unaccustomed agony, leaving him trying to seek friction, and fullness that he couldn’t place, Elliot understood. With quiet horror, he moved, feeling a leaking slickness coming from him that soaked straight through his clothes and the sheets beneath him on the bed, leaving him unable to deny his new truth.

Omega.

An oppressive stillness had come to him then, forcing up memories of biology classes in school that he’d thought he’d tuned out at the time. About how somewhere along the line of humanity, it had become possible for both men and women to conceive offspring, and that from that development was borne the Alpha, Beta and Omega dynamic. Betas carried on much as regular people always had done throughout human history, but instinct drove Alphas to impregnate, and Omegas to get pregnant, with those needs underwriting every aspect of an Alpha or Omega’s life. During a period of population crisis, the allele for Omega had shifted from recessive to dominant, and Alpha to recessive, with geneticists theorizing it was because a single Alpha could impregnate many Omegas, and were therefore in an evolutionary sense far less essential. Elliot remembered joking about telling that to his Alpha friends, and the laughs it had gotten around the class.

Elliot also remembered from those classes the apparent fucked up way the human body chose to reproduce. How once upon a time, many, many generations ago, when the world was evidently an even worse state than it was then in Elliot’s lifetime, women could carry a healthy baby to full term at around nine months. But in Elliot’s lifetime, male Omegas statistically proved stronger breeders, had overall better fertility, could endure gestation periods of almost eight months, where most Beta women, if they made it at all, could barely cope with six. Omega women fell somewhere in between, and considered very rare, but were still at higher risk of complications than Omega men.

That only two genders were legally recognized, when an entire spectrum of creation, and existing was possible between people, would continue to baffle Elliot, even then, in that moment, trapped in a sterile waiting room where he was waiting for his results to be confirmed and unable to stop his thoughts from wandering, desperate for good news.

He had already paced around the room several times, pausing once or twice to glare at his reflection in the mirror to critique his appearance, taking in the family trait of strawberry blond hair that on his cousin Sebastian appeared red in places yet on himself Elliot could only think to describe as dirty. Pale blue eyes stared back at him, accusatory and mocking, goading him into actions he wanted no part of, until he had to turn away, only to be drawn back once again to looking at all his flaws, seeking out a visible reason for his predicament.

Elliot strained to hear the nurse beyond the closed door, but only muffled voices taunted him. The waiting left him incensed with fear, because the last thing he needed was for what was happening to him then to really be happening. But he could feel it intensifying in him, his instincts fighting to be allowed to surface and force him into wanting things he really didn’t want to think about. There was no other word for it; Elliot was frightened. He remembered that first, overwhelming heat, when he’d thrashed and begged for things he didn’t know, couldn’t understand, as his family stood by helpless and unable to do anything for him, and that aching sense of hard arousal so out of place in his innocent fourteen-year-old body that left him feeling wrong, and broken. Corrupted.

He remembered scaring Sebastian, only a year younger than him yet almost the same height, his petrified eyes peering at Elliot through a crack in the door as Uncle Bernard and Aunt Ellie tried to soothe him, tried not to look at Elliot as though he was different, something fearsome to them, because they didn’t really know what they needed to do.

Elliot remembered hearing Uncle Bern’s panicked call to his already-absent father, Carl, and his subsequent though much-delayed arrival, only to glance over Elliot with callous eyes that told Elliot one thing; this was his final failure as a son being what he was.

Remembering all those things, Elliot couldn’t, wouldn’t allow the Omega in him to rise and force such mindless need on him. It would not be his reality, and he would do all he could to fight it, whatever it took. He closed his eyes to the final assault of his most painful of memories. Of overhearing snatches of a phone conversation between his aunt and a doctor. Of being given sedatives, then picked up and carried in gentle, loving arms, bundled into a car and driven to an imposing-looking clinic to figure this out.

The Heat suppressants prescribed for him at the time, a carton of pills pushed across a pharmacy counter into his trembling young hands and clutched there as though they were his lifeline, had worked ever since. He’d lived normal – as normal as he could do, anyway, and more than that, he’d lived well. They couldn’t fail him, not after how hard he had worked.

Those muffled voices he still couldn’t make out were ending their conversation. Elliot swallowed hard and straightened in his chair, then leapt up to follow the nurse as soon as she appeared to beckon him into an office. He sat rigidly and watched her work, precise fingers typing furiously at a computer, not paying him any attention until she had completed what she needed to do.

“So?” Elliot asked, the moment she looked up at him, because patience was not a gift he’d been blessed with. “Tell me.”

The nurse looked at him kindly, and it was the worst look Elliot could have hoped to receive. Without her even opening her mouth, enough hesitance in the nurse’s expression for Elliot to know what she was about to tell him.

“It would seem, Mr. Roderick, that the reason your suppressors have ceased working to full effectiveness is because your body is ready for you to breed,”

***

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Tainted By Our Choices

 

Tarred by our choices is a contemporary romance that has flashbacks, sex, environmental awareness, and a slight fixation on dessert. Potentially all at the same time.

Meet Jack. A successful environmental officer working within an industry that is so very far from his childhood dream of saving the planet, that he no longer recognizes himself. How he’s found himself in Houston, Texas, where he has no one, and nothing but his work for company, he tells himself repeatedly he doesn’t know. But when the place that became home had the heart sucked right out of it, and all around him were the remnants of a life he wouldn’t get to have, Jack ran, at the first opportunity given to him.

On a bright, sunny morning, Jack sees a face so familiar to him that he knows it better than his own, one that takes him back first to a beach in his childhood home of Tampa Bay, and second to a college in Boston where Jack learned – and lost – his heart.

Tarred by our choices is the story of first crushes, loves, and heartbreaks, and the fallout that left Jack clinging to his past. Join him on his rediscovery of himself, as a chance meeting reminds him of the life he always wanted to lead. Is he brave enough to live it?